The next day we took the motorway north towards Ceuta and our ferry back to Europe.  We drove past Casablanca and Rabat, stopping only for fuel and a van wash.Road to Casablanca

Most of the larger fuel stations offer a lavage service and you can sit in the cafe having coffee while a team of men use a power hose to wet, soapy wash and then rinse and dry off.  An excellent service which cost about £5 and took less than half an hour.  We arrived at our campsite at Moulay-Bousselham after dark.

We had bought some fresh peas in the pod by the roadside and these we ate with Tony’s stir fried chicken.  Peas have never tasted so good.

.A Typical Street Scene

From Moulay-Bousselham to Ceuta was, according to TomTom, a two hour run but it took us much longer as we again found ourselves on narrow, winding roads.  We eventually reached the Moroccan/Spain border.  One of us stayed with the vehicle whilst the other took the passports for stamping at a booth.  We then drove on to the border where we were pulled aside by a khaki clad armed policeman.  He began searching the vehicle by tapping and knocking all around the exterior.  More officials arrived, some talking loudly on their mobiles.  Then they brought a German Shepherd sniffer dog who went all over the van, inside and out.  They unscrewed our food storage boxes kept between the double floor and made Tony removed everything from between the floors.  The knocking and tapping became more insistent, they seemed angry and the voices on the phone became more animated.  We were reminded of the warning that these guys can rip your van apart should they choose to do so.  Suddenly, after almost an hour, they all backed off and, with a friendly handshake and lots of smiles, we were allowed on our way.  They had obviously decided that we were not the drug smugglers they had first suspected!

It wasn’t long before we were on the ferry to Spain and then we drove for another two hours to reach the campsite at El Puerto de Santa Maria where we had stayed for a few days prior to leaving for Morocco.  It was good being in Europe again and we very much appreciated the showers and toilets, nice warm rooms kept clean by ladies in overalls and smelling slightly of bleach.  Such a contrast to some of the facilities in Morocco where wash rooms were often open to the elements and you were lucky if the water was hot and even more fortunate if the feeble trickle of water continued long enough for you to rinse the shampoo from your hair.

We loved Morocco and we found the Moroccans friendly and genuinely eager to help but we couldn’t understand why no-one seemed inclined to repair broken plumbing.  Nor could we understand their attitude to rubbish which was often neatly bagged, only to be taken away and tipped over a cliff.